PhD position dead wood ecology

Universität Würzburg

The world’s forests store vast amounts of carbon, provide important ecosystem services to humans, and support most of the planet’s terrestrial biodiversity. Around one quarter of all forest species depend directly or indirectly on dead wood. Microclimate and host tree species are two main factors determining this biodiversity. However, it remains unclear how these factors drive biodiversity in different trophic levels, particularly for groups of species difficult to determine. The present project will hence quantify biodiversity of different species groups in dead wood using next generation sequencing.

The main project tasks are i) the maintenance and administration of the experimental set-ups, ii) quantification of biodiversity including preparation of samples for next generation sequencing, and iii) the analysis and publication of the obtained data in international peer-reviewed journals. We seek a highly motivated candidate with experience in animal ecology and the collection and analysis of quantitative data.

The earliest starting date for the position is November 2019, whereas the exact starting date is flexible. The position is limited to 36 months (TV-L, 60%). The position permits and supports a scientific qualification through the preparation of a doctoral thesis within the framework of the project.

The Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply. The Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg intends to raise the number of disabled persons in its employment. In the case of equally qualified applicants, disabled persons will be preferentially considered.

To apply for this position, please send your application (including a letter of Motivation and a CV) via one single PDF file to Prof. Dr. Jörg Müller ( Detailed questions about the project content may be addressed to Dr. Simon Thorn (
The successful candidate will fulfill the following requirements:
  • Very good master’s degree or equivalent in ecological sciences, forest sciences, conservation biology or a related field
  • Ability to work responsible and independently
  • Profound knowledge of data analysis in R
  • Good command of spoken and written English
  • Class B driving license

The Field Station Fabrikschleichach of the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg conducts basic and applied research in forest ecology. The Station is located in Fabrikschleichach, embedded in the heart of the Steigerwald forest, close to the project research plots and in the proximity of Bamberg, Würzburg and Schweinfurt ( The successful candidate will have the unique opportunity of a combination of field-based research, laboratory work, and data analysis embedded in a fruitful research environment.
9**** Ober- und Unterfranken
Universität Würzburg
Ökologische Station Fabrikschleichach
Glashüttenstr. 5
96181 Rauhenebrach
Dr. Simon Thorn
0931 3183057
0931 3183089
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